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12:00 AM
Nov 05, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Genentech blinks

If Genentech Inc. thought its plan to make it more difficult for ophthalmologists to use Avastin instead of Lucentis for patients with age-related macular degeneration would be taken lying down, it had another think coming.

Last week, DNA said it would push back its deadline for cutting off supplies of Avastin to compounding pharmacies by 30 days to Jan. 1, but it's clear that, with or without the company's help, doctors will find ways to continue to get Avastin to their patients.

Some ophthalmologists treat AMD with Avastin bevacizumab, a MAb against VEGF, instead of Lucentis ranibizumab, a MAb fragment against VEGF-A that is approved for the indication. Avastin is approved as an intravenous infusion to treat colorectal cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), while Lucentis is administered via intravitreal injection and is manufactured to meet U.S. Pharmacopeia ophthalmic standards.

The main reason to use Avastin in AMD is cost. The average wholesale price for a single-dose vial of Lucentis is $2,437, with the label calling for nine monthly injections. Compounding pharmacies can take a 100 mg vial of Avastin with an AWP of...

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